With President Obama taking to the bully pulpit to discuss the economy, you might want to look at our chartbook, The Legacy of the Great Recession. It illustrates the challenge we face. The economy has grown for 15 straight quarters and private employers have added jobs for 40 straight months, yet employment levels remain far below where they should be in a truly healthy economy. Here’s an excerpt:
The Share of the Population with a Job Fell to Levels Not Seen Since the Mid-1980s
The sharp rise in the unemployment rate and the increasingly discouraging prospect of finding a job caused a decline in the percentage of the population in the labor force (those either working or looking for work). As a result of rising unemployment and declining labor force participation, the percentage of the population with a job fell sharply in the recession and has remained depressed in the recovery. The labor force participation rate in June 2013 remained near the lowest level it has been at any time since 1978 and the percentage of the population with a job has been stuck near levels last seen in the early 1980s.